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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Things What Done Fell From the Sky, Pt. 6 - Fishes

This time, we turn our attentions to fish, in particular. These accounts come from a new source, William R. Corliss’ Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena, and many of them do not appear in the more widespread aggregate omnibuses.
  • In an account from one John Lewis, a sawyer, he states that, "On Wednesday, February 9 [1859]... I was startled by something falling all over me... On putting my hand down my neck I was surprised to find they were little fish. By this time I saw the whole ground covered with them... They covered the ground in a long strip of about 80 yards by 12, as we measured afterwards." The location is not given in the account, but he does mention a northbound train to Aberdare.
  • August 24th, 1918, a brief shower left behind a trail of fish at Hendon, England. One account claims the ground was "strewn with thousands of little fishes." They were of a variety known as "siles," which are eel-like creatures about 2-3" in length. They were stiff when found and "many of them were broken by striking the ground." - Royal Meteorological Society, Quarterly Journal
  • October 23rd, 1947 - Marksville, LA: "In the morning of that day, between seven and eight o’clock, fish ranging from two to nine inches in length fell on the streets and in the yards... They were freshwater fish native to local waters and belonging to the following species: large-mouth black bass, goggle-eye, two species of sunfish, several species of minnows, and hickory shad. The latter species were the most common." What makes this account particularly interesting is that the person who gave this account, A. D. Bajkov, was actually in the area conducting biological investigations for the Department of Wild Life and Fisheries. He collected samples of the fallen fish and preserved them. While no tornadoes were in the area, he attested that both he and another man had witnessed several "devil dusters" in the area the day before, thus giving some credence to that theory.
Again, while the dust devil and tornado theory seems a logical one, it falls apart on closer observation, as noted previously.

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